for Friday, May 20, 2022
1 – A group of Consumers Energy customers are celebrating an agreement on the utility’s 15-year power plan as a transition from dirty coal to renewable energy.
The Integrated Resource Plan, as it’s called, has a number of goals. Those include not investing in new sources of fossil gas and embracing community solar.
The group includes customers, organizations and elected officials.
Organizations in support include Michigan Clinicians for Climate Action, with members including Michigan health professionals, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, a national environmental group.
A Michigan advocate for the council says “maintaining the status quo is no longer an option as we continue to experience the impacts of the climate crisis.”
See also: Michigan Public Service Commission
2 – A six-month forecast predicts Great Lakes water levels will continue their seasonal rise over the next month.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says estimates indicate the Great Lakes basin received above-average precipitation in April.
Lake Superior received almost double its average precipitation for the month, or almost 4 inches.
Michigan-Huron, considered as one lake by scientists, received slightly above average precipitation in April at just over 3 inches. Lakes Erie and Ontario received below average precipitation.
From March to April, all the lakes experienced a rise in water levels. Michigan-Huron and Ontario rose about 6 inches.
3 – May is American Wetlands Month.
Michigan has more than 275,000 acres of Great Lakes coastal wetlands, according to the state’s environmental agency. But Michigan has lost about half of the coastal wetlands that existed prior to European settlement. In some parts of the state, losses are as high as 90 percent.
A Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program began in 2011 for plants, invertebrates, fish, amphibians, birds and water quality.
The program is a partnership between 15 organizations, led by Central Michigan University and funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Field crews sample about 1,000 coastal wetlands every five years. The results are used to inform planning and evaluation of wetland restoration projects throughout the Great Lakes region.